I can’t remember when last someone brought something ‘original’ to the table. We seem have the same conversations on loop and despite all the “think out the box” and “be innovative” type terminology we constantly hear thrown around. Well we are nowhere close…help!
- Buy Adam Grant’s latest book, Think Again. Read it and as you do so think of your team.
- Buy each person a copy. Give it to them, together with a personal note as to why you would like them to read it. For example: “Hi Tembi, I read this book and thought of you when I hit page 101…it describes you so well! (Chapter 12 may also resonate with you!) I think this book could have a significant impact on how we think together as a team and I would really value your thoughts on it. In fact, I am giving each team member a copy and will schedule a team discussion on it next month at our team quarterly meeting. Could I ask that you have read it by then…I know you’re busy, but this is important. Thanks, and enjoy! John’
- Schedule time to bring all the conversations to the table. Exactly how best to do this doesn’t need to be over-thought. Maybe a series of good questions will help.
Questions such as:
- What stood out for you from the book & how it might apply to us?
- What are we not doing / missing when it comes to rethinking our own
assumptions, orthodoxies, or business models?
- What do we need to do next?
- What might we need to ‘unlearn’ to be able to ‘rethink’?
- What are the questions we should be asking but aren’t?
- Not everybody is a ‘reader’ and so keep this in mind. Some might object as they are ‘too busy’. I always reply to such with, “if you are too busy to read, then you are too busy!” Maybe, that ‘someone’ might be you! But seriously, smart leaders make time to read!
- Good content (like this book offers) can ignite thinking and conversations. If this works well, you might consider making this a regular occurrence. Tinker with the model to ensure it works for you and your team.
- There are a lot of great books out there. One released this month (in the UK) and to be released in South Africa in April is Mavericks – How bold leadership changes the world, written by three people we know well in TomorrowToday. It is not to be missed!!I have gone with Adam Grant’s book but could easily have also used Kathryn Schulz’s excellent book, Being Wrong. Stay clear of the‘how to’ books and simplistic motivational type stuff. I would be happy to discuss other recommendations, but I don’t think you can go wrong with those suggested.
- Make reading part of your team culture. Give it time and persevere. It will open a learning highway and learning is a key component of what it takes to build adaptive capacity / intelligence. So just ask yourself, ‘How much do I want to build adaptability into my team / business?’ That answer should be all the motivation you
need to pursue developing a learning culture; intentional reading is a sharp instrument in achieving that end.